Lacy J. Dalton Interview

Lacy J. Dalton Interview

by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine

Lacy J. Dalton (born Jill Lynne Byrem on October 13, 1946 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania), is an American country singer and songwriter with a career that has spanned many decades and touched the hearts of millions of music fans. In March 2017 Lacy J Dalton was inducted into the North American Country Music Association International Hall of Fame, and in 2018 she was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to her Top New Female Vocalist award, she also brought home numerous Grammy nominations and 3 prestigious, back to back (1979, 1980, 1981) Bay Area Music Awards for Best Country-Folk Recordings. Lacy appeared on those shows with the likes of Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane.

Following a successful career in country music, Lacy decided to draw on all her musical experiences including country, rock and folk, and cross over into the Americana genre.  This blend of musical styles allows her to express herself in a way that demonstrates all the facets of who she is as a singer/songwriter.


Lamitschka: Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?


Lacy J. Dalton: I’ve always been kind of a renegade with influences from artists like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Kris Kristofferson, etc.  So my writing reflects these so called outlaws influences.


Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?


Lacy J. Dalton: Platinum Record Award as the lone woman on Willie Nelson’s “Half Nelson” platinum project with George Jones, Ray Charles, Carlos Santana, Julio Eglasias, Leon Russell and Willie himself. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Josie Awards – the largest independent music awards show in the US.


Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?


Lacy J. Dalton: I’m currently working on a compilation I plan to call “For The Black Sheep”


Lamitschka: How did you choose the title for the CD? Is there a story behind the name?


Lacy J. Dalton: Yes.  Songs are written for persons who have not found answers in their churches, mosques, synagogues or ashrams and have kind of thrown out the baby (belief in something higher) with the bathwater.


Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?


Lacy J. Dalton: Yes, for the most part I have written the songs myself.  There are also some magnificent pieces that others have written that I am considering at this time


Lamitschka: Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).


Lacy J. Dalton: Here’s a couple of verses from the first song on the “For The Black Sheep” project in a song called “The Devil By A Different Name”:


Call me left wing, call me right

We are split right down the middle in this fight

Divided we fall, that rule don’t change

It’s just the devil by a different name boys, the devil by a different name


Call me Imam, call me Priest

We are brothers separated by belief

But a loveless faith is a ball and chain

It’s just the devil by a different name boys, the devil by a different name


Call me gay boys, call me straight

Must we stare across this chasm filled with hate




Lamitschka: What is the difference between your last CD and your current one?


Lacy J. Dalton: “For The Black Sheep” contains deeper material.


Lamitschka: What kind of songs do you like to record the most?


Lacy J. Dalton: Deep, philosophical songs like “The Heart” by Kris Kristofferson


Lamitschka: You did a duet with Willie Nelson. How did that happen to come about?


Lacy J. Dalton: Through a good friend with a great song called “Slow Movin’ Outlaw”


Lamitschka: How much creative control do you have over your music?


Lacy J. Dalton: Now that I’m an independent artist, I’m happy and grateful to say I have total control over my music.


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